Sometimes, you just have to tip your cap to the opposition, because at the end of the day, they're just better.
I think that's where we are heading in these 2017 NBA Finals.
Wednesday night, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving seemingly gave every ounce of energy they had to help get the defending league champions back in the series. And yet, it wasn't enough.
The Cavs went cold in the final 2:48 of the game as Golden State finished on an 11-0 run on their way to a 118-113 win, and a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Warriors can lock up their second NBA title in three years on Friday in Game 4 at the Q.
James finished with 39 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists. Irving added 38. But they were helpless down the stretch as Kevin Durant's 3-pointer with :45 seconds to go gave the Warriors the lead for good. Durant scored 31 points, Klay Thompson added 30, Steph Curry finished with 26. Just an amazing offensive machine.
"I said it after we won the Eastern Conference Finals that we're getting ready for a juggernaut," James recalled after Wednesday's loss. "It's probably the most, most firepower I've played in my career. I played against some great teams, but I don't think no team has had this type of firepower."
Think about that.
In his 14 years in the NBA, LeBron James has never seen a team with more firepower.
Not the Boston Celtics, with Garnett, Pierce, Allen, and Rondo. Not the San Antonio Spurs with Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, and Leonard. Not the Thunder with Durant, Westbrook, and Harden.
Even LeBron's Miami Heat teams with Wade and Bosh didn't have the offensive punch that the Warriors possess.
"So even when you're playing well, you got to play like A plus plus, because they're going to make runs and they're going to make shots and they got guys that's going to make plays," LBJ continued. "So we made enough plays tonight to still win the ball game, but they made a couple more."
The margin of error against the Warriors is razor thin. And when you give everything you have out there, it will take a toll on you. James admitted as much afterwards.
"I mean, obviously it's physically and emotionally draining because I give everything to the game and want to put myself and my teammates in a position to be successful. So but I lay it all on the floor, and I did that tonight, gave everything that I had, both mentally and physically. So obviously I'm drained right now, ready to get home. But you're going against a team like this and you put together a game like we had where we had an opportunity, it's definitely draining."
I mentioned in '3 Shots' that there will be some out there who will nit-pick on some of the things that the Cavs could have done differently. For LeBron, there are no regrets left after Game 3's loss. "I gave everything that I had to this game, so I don't look at it saying I wish I could have did this or I would have did that. I left it out on the floor," he said.
Let's close it out....